Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seeing the World Through Orange Coloured Glasses



With orange coloured glasses...
...a party over 50 years old can be considered "new".

With orange coloured glasses...
...the constitution can be opened up and everyone can be made happy.

With orange coloured glasses...
...cuting a tax on home heating fuel is good environmental policy which helps the poorest Canadians.

With orange coloured glasses...
...a cap and trade system starts generating revenue right away.

With orange coloured glasses...
...you can train 1200 doctors for $25 million - even though it will cost the current government $40 million to train 100 doctors.

With orange coloured glasses...
...one man can run an entire government.

With orange coloured glasses...
...a party as responsible as anyone else for breaking Ottawa can "fix Ottawa".

With orange coloured glasses...
...a negative campaign running negative ads is all about hope.

With orange coloured glasses...
...it looks perfectly fine when you cost your job creation tax credit on the assumption job creation will fall by 70%.

With orange coloured glasses...
...you can make $70 billion in new promises without raising taxes.

60 Comments:

  • Many of these are fiscal and economic issues. If Canadians understood economics, they would have preferred cutting the income tax to the GST in 2006, would have voted for the Green Shift in 2008, and BC would gladly accept the HST.

    By Blogger Election Watcher, at 8:30 AM  

  • Yet, the LIEberals do not point out that their policies are very simular yo NDP - without costing. The LIEberal Red Book is as stable as Iffy's statement: "You didn't get it done ...." Both parties have to impliment Cap and Trade, raise Grits Support Tax [GST] and raise corporate taxes just to make a dent into what they promised. Of course Quebec will be exempt from all tax increases somehow.

    Iffy's Battle cyr will be changed to: "I did not get it done ... too expensive and not enough tax payers,"

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 8:38 AM  

  • So it's agreed. Lets vote Conservative to stop the NDP.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:49 AM  

  • Grits Support Tax? What party implemented it again?

    This is almost as funny as Harper holding the other parties responsible for fostering cynicism.

    If Harper gets a majority, he'll have a helluva time paying for his jets and prisons while balancing the budget without raising taxes. Perhaps then you can start calling them Conservathieves.

    By Blogger Election Watcher, at 8:49 AM  

  • The desire of the electorate for fundamental change is a force of nature. Once it gathers enough momentum, it's impossible to stop. Right now, that momentum exists in Quebec. We need to see through polling outside of EKOS whether this Orange wave is a tsunami. I have my doubts. Just as Westerners can't forgive the Liberals for the NEP, so too might Ontarians never forgive Rae Days and the awful legacy of an NDP government in Ontario. Maybe. Possibly.

    Let's see what those polls say between now and Friday.

    By Anonymous Sean Cummings, at 8:53 AM  

  • I have a hard time believing the NDP are going to capture 100 seats, let alone lead the government.

    That said, would that be so bad? Maybe they will do well. Maybe they will do so poorly they will be wiped off the map next time around. Either way, they are going to lose the whole "we will do things differently" schtick.

    A minority NDP government would not be a bad thing. Besides, if taxes do have to go up, might as well let Layton take the heat.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 9:01 AM  

  • And if the Liberals are decimated in this election, let them FINALLY rebuild the party in a proper way by reconnecting with the grassroots, by becoming financially self-sufficient and finally by offering some of that vision stuff that Liberals used to be about. This all started when Paul Martin's people pulled out the knives on Jean Chretien. He was the last truly great leader of the Liberal Party and what we see now is just a shadow of what the party once was. Perhaps the utter annihilation of the party will be the catalyst for rebuilding that should have happened a hell of a long time ago.

    I have voted Tory in two elections, but I always voted for Chretien because the party meant something back then.

    By Anonymous Sean Cummings, at 9:12 AM  

  • Election Watcher

    Do not look at me. The LIEberals PROMISED - a word that LIEberals do not know the meaning of - the abolishment/change of the GST, and did nothing for 13 years [just like lowering the carbon imprint].

    The Cons kept their promise, and lowered it to 5%. Yet Iffy said he would bring it back to 7% ...

    I think you should read the budget [point out payment of fighter jets - all in one year.]

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 9:16 AM  

  • Gayle

    I aggree with you on this assestment of NDP.

    Yet the NDP would be a good opposition party and not be a back-bencher to the Cons - supporting them in votes in the house and staying away from voting. All this so the Cons could stay in power all these years.

    It would be a good time for the LIEberals to rebuild from grass-roots up, then come back in four/five years with something to really offer Canadians.

    The Cons will make mistakes, that is a given, yet the alternative is devestating to Canadian economy and way of life.

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 9:27 AM  

  • I get that this is a Lib blog but this is a bit beneath your normal standard of commentary.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:28 AM  

  • The desire of the electorate for fundamental change is a force of nature. Once it gathers enough momentum, it's impossible to stop.

    I agree, Sean.

    For the first time, ever, people feel like there's a third option.

    Me, personally, sure I agree with 90% of what you're saying here C.G... but really, besides inexperience with executive power, are the NDP really all that different from the CPC or LPC? They all want to "fix Ottawa" and have "more goodies for less", and they've certainly all screwed around with the Constitution to make everyone happy.

    The best part about a victory for Jack would be the Tory and Liberal parties getting in gear to act competitively rather than just trying buck each other for King Of The Castle.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 10:01 AM  

  • Clown Party:

    According to multiple sources, the jets will cost about twice the Tories' estimate.

    As for the GST promise, people that were 6 months old will vote in this election. $2 were bills. Nobody used the internet, and few had cell phones. The Habs had just won the Stanley Cup. Canada was the economic laughing stock of the world.

    Might as well be having a debate on the Airbus affair, NEP, conscription and the King-Byng affair.

    By Blogger Election Watcher, at 10:07 AM  

  • I agree completely with your observations but remember that very few (if any) people who are voting NDP expect them to win. What is realy going on is a race to be leader of the opposition. I only hope that we don’t accidentally elect them to government! (On the other hand if our experience in Ontario is any guide a one term of NDP goverment is probably the best thing that could happen to the liberals)

    Cheers
    Steve in Toronto

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:42 AM  

  • You may have already seen Chantal Hebert but it sure reminds me of you if you haven't:

    Too angry, too negative and bordering on incoherence are words that keep cropping up to describe Duceppe’s performance and they are often used by voters who might still support the Bloc next Monday.

    Looks like we called this one right out of the gate ;-)

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 10:44 AM  

  • (On the other hand if our experience in Ontario is any guide a one term of NDP goverment is probably the best thing that could happen to the liberals)

    Hopefully, we manage to skip the whole "Common Sense" revolution bit.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 10:59 AM  

  • As for the GST promise, people that were 6 months old will vote in this election. $2 were bills. Nobody used the internet, and few had cell phones. The Habs had just won the Stanley Cup. Canada was the economic laughing stock of the world.

    Might as well be having a debate on the Airbus affair, NEP, conscription and the King-Byng affair.


    There are so many more recent things to talk about -- the $1 billion spent on the G8/G20. The current deficit. Corporate tax cuts.... A government being found in contempt of parliament.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 11:02 AM  

  • Good post CG!

    With orange coloured glasses ...
    Tim Horton's Hospital decisions made by a provincial NDP government can be blamed on the federal government.

    With orange coloured glasses ...
    credit cards and Parliamentary attendance are issues most worthy of the highest elected office.

    With orange coloured glasses ... corporate tax cuts are bad, but corporate subsidies are good.

    With orange coloured glasses ... doubling pension pay-outs with a record-high deficit and a huge number of upcoming boomer retirements is a practical and affordable promise.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 11:04 AM  

  • Notwithstanding some of the criticism in the comments, the LPC would be better served to run some ads along this theme rather than the lame efforts they have produced.

    By Blogger jad, at 11:06 AM  

  • The NDP has a town hall today in Toronto

    Time: 5:30pm doors open
    Location: Father Madden Hall, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto 100 St Joseph Street

    If anyone wants to, here's your chance to quiz the NDP on their policies.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 11:16 AM  

  • I don't get the hate for the NDP. I consider myself a left of center voter and i have in the past voted for both NDP and Liberal candidates. I fine both parties to be hugely preferable to the other option. As a progressive don't you?

    By Anonymous MPAVictoria, at 11:21 AM  

  • Haha even better list Robert Vollman!!! Esp the hospital/prov NDP line


    It's funny MPAVictoria...
    I'm more progressive than conservative
    I don't like or respect ANY party. They all get up to the same exagerration and emotion and hyperbole. The NDP is no worse and no better... so the hate-on some ppl carry for the NDP confuses me.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 11:49 AM  

  • So I will mark you down as undecided then?

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:52 AM  

  • How are legitimate policy critiques of the NDP "beneath" calgarygrit? All of the questions he asks are legitimate ones, and what is more, the press doesn't seem to be asking them, nor are voters.

    To me, it is Layton's credit card policy that speaks to the unseriousness of the NDP. Capping credit card interest will not help the poor, rather, it will make it impossible for poor people to obtain credit. The rich would benefit because they could still get credit, and it'd be cheap.

    I really can't fathom why any "progressive" would support such a policy - unless one's hatred of banks has overtaken good sense.

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 12:10 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 12:15 PM  

  • I like New Democrats - their heart is in the right place, and they certainly share a lot of the goals and ambitions of Liberals.

    But Layton's platform hasn't had any scrutiny this campaign. Open the constitution? Spend $3,000 a head to hire new doctors - how is that even possible?

    Moreover, like H2H mentions, a lot of the NDP policies won't help the Canadians who need help the most.

    I know the NDP is used to getting a free ride, but now that they're actually a serious threat for power, it's time to actually look at what they're promising. Or we could be in for a repeat of 1990 Ontario.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:30 PM  

  • a repeat of 1990 Ontario.

    In fairness, the guy responsible for that bit of unpleasantness is working for your team now.

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:35 PM  

  • True...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:41 PM  

  • so the hate-on some ppl carry for the NDP confuses me.

    No hate for the NDP. They're my fall-back choice.

    The only problem I have with the NDP is something Bob Rae noted in Three Questions. He quoted something George Orwell in relations to the Labour Government:

    "The greatest disadvantages under which the left-wing movement suffers: that being a newcomer to the political scene & having built itself up from nothing, it had to create a following by telling lies. For a left-wing party in power, its most serious antagonist is always its own past propaganda."

    Calling it lies is way too harsh. All parties exaggerate and try to make wild promises, but the NDP may have gone a step too far in some cases.

    We've already seen the NDP back away a bit from their platform. It's clear their Cap and Trade program won't live up to as promised.. Re-opening the Constitution will wait until they have a reasonable chance of success. In other words, never. :P (This slight backtrack is oddly enough a big relief for me.)

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 12:48 PM  

  • "Or we could be in for a repeat of 1990 Ontario."

    Can we honestly say that Rae was any worse than Harris?

    I can understand the criticism of the NDP platform but at the end of the day is it really more unrealistic than the Tories? How much are the jets and prisons actually going to cost us? Does anyone really know?

    By Anonymous MPAVictoria, at 1:44 PM  

  • "With orange coloured glasses...
    ...a party over 50 years old can be considered "new"."

    Uh, I know election day's approaching and you want to get "dirt" on parties that could hurt the Liberals, but what the hell does this have to do with anything? Are you going to berat New College or New York for not dropping "New" from their names once they started to age?

    And, strictly speaking, the NDP would raise corporate taxes to 19.5% and, yes, through deficit spending you can spend more without raising taxes(although the NDP has vowed not the run a deficit, so this will be tricky http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2011/04/10/ndps-balanced-budget-platform/).

    By Blogger The Analyst, at 1:55 PM  

  • I'll struggle with this for a couple of days now. But if the Liberals don't shape up before election day I think I going to vote Tory for the first time since 1988. I would rather the stability of a tory majority and knowing what I would get from them then the insanity and instability of Jack Layton and his circus. Can you imagine the band of crazies and nuts they would elect if their was an orange wave? You just know in many of these in once thought of out of reach riding's they just picked up anyone off the street. They would make the old Reform candidates look sane.

    It really does scare the living day lights of me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:22 PM  

  • Will be interesting to see if Jack's pandering leaks outside Quebec:

    Paul Wells: RT @aradwanski: Is it just me, or is it a little depressing that the 'firewall' guy is the closest we have to a Captain Canada among our federal leaders?

    Paul Wells: A prime minister needs to govern the whole country.

    Paul Wells: I'll tell you straight, I think Stephen Harper has made a hash of 40 important policy files. But on Quebec secession I trust his instincts.

    Paul Wells: Does Jack Layton still believe Clarity Act "has been broadly accepted across the spectrum as a basis for proceeding"? http://is.gd/PxaGl

    Paul Wells: I'm sorry, but I take this stuff kind of seriously.

    Paul Wells: No mention of constitutional requirements for provincial consent for the massive constitutional amendments that would be required.

    Paul Wells: Jack Layton will "accept" result of a PQ referendum on secession. No mention of Supreme Court mandates regarding clarity of question, result

    Paul Wells: RT @smithjoanna: Call-in Q: if you're in gov't & PQ in gov't, will you accept result of referendum on sovereignty? "La reponse est oui," Layton says #elxn41

    By Anonymous mikey, at 2:44 PM  

  • Can we honestly say that Rae was any worse than Harris?

    Actually, Rae was probably better than Harris.

    The problem was that Harris did a lot of what he said he would do -- cut social insurance rates and cut income taxes. They were thugs, but everyone knew this.

    With respects to the NDP, expectations were too high -- they had over 50% support at the start of their mandate. When the recession hit, the NDP did things like ask public workers to take unpaid days off (not really that bad, especially when you consider what Harris was to do) that their supporters seemed to take as personal betrayals.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 2:46 PM  

  • "ll struggle with this for a couple of days now. But if the Liberals don't shape up before election day I think I going to vote Tory for the first time since 1988. I would rather the stability of a tory majority and knowing what I would get from them then the insanity and instability of Jack Layton and his circus. Can you imagine the band of crazies and nuts they would elect if their was an orange wave? You just know in many of these in once thought of out of reach riding's they just picked up anyone off the street. They would make the old Reform candidates look sane.

    It really does scare the living day lights of me."

    I just have a hard time understanding how anyone can find the things that the NDP might do scarier than the things the conservatives have and will do.

    By Anonymous MPAVictoria, at 2:50 PM  

  • "I just have a hard time understanding how anyone can find the things that the NDP might do scarier than the things the conservatives have and will do".

    Wells doesn't lack an imagination.

    By Anonymous mikey, at 3:02 PM  

  • Or maybe his imagination is selective. Both a Layton minority and a Harper majority are uncharted waters, and we really can't expect the last 5 years to offer much of a guide.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 3:22 PM  

  • "Harris did a lot of what he said he would do -- cut social insurance rates and cut income taxes. They were thugs, but everyone knew this..."

    So let's see if I have this straight...Harris was elected to a strong majority, did what he campaigned on, won a second majority, and was worse than Rae?

    So who's on crack? Ontario voters or just the left-wing re-writers of historical fact?

    By Blogger Patrick, at 3:25 PM  

  • I'm with Sharonapple88: Rae's taken a bad rap for things like "Rae Days", when it's clearly preferable to mass lay-offs.

    A change in the party in power does not change economic fundamentals or realities.

    Makes you wonder if the Ontario ND's supporters had any financial understanding at all.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 3:39 PM  

  • So let's see if I have this straight...Harris was elected to a strong majority, did what he campaigned on, won a second majority, and was worse than Rae?

    The second majority... but there was a loss of seats -- 23 in the second election, and in the one after that under Eves they lost 35.

    (Compare this to the Liberals who lost 1 seat in the 2007 election from 2003.)

    As for doing what he said.... Harris was key at campaigning throughout the year. I remember the commercials that would air all the time where Mike would talk to the public about the latest government project. One was about cutting hospitals, which was spun as getting rid of wasted space. Ah, but this lead to a rise in waiting times. There were cuts to the number of nurses during SARS (bad timing). And the Walkerton situation, the results of cuts to the Ministry of the Environment....

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 3:47 PM  

  • "Wells doesn't lack an imagination."
    Or maybe we just find different things scary?

    By Anonymous MPAVictoria, at 3:50 PM  

  • You judge a government on how they left office and in 2002 when Harris left office he left Ontario in much better shape then it was in 1995. NDP governments are never good governments outside of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they live in a fantasy world of more spending and higher taxes without regard to the economy... just look at what is going on in N.S now.

    By Blogger Andre, at 3:55 PM  

  • Makes you wonder if the Ontario ND's supporters had any financial understanding at all.

    I think it was a matter of the NDP being caught between their own marketing -- everyone thought they could see themselves in the party -- and the realities of government (you have to make choices and priorities. You can't be everything to everyone).

    I remember thinking this of Paul Martin when a poll revealed that people thought he would be able to increase public spending and cut taxes.... you can't do both well.

    You judge a government on how they left office and in 2002 when Harris left office he left Ontario in much better shape then it was in 1995.

    Ontario was already beginning to recover from the recession in 1995. And Harris gutted health care and services to the point where people died.... not to mention what he did to education. His popularity was on the decline even before he left. This was one of the reason the last two Conservative Ontario leaders (Eves and Tory) have tried to distance themselves from Harris' Common Sense Revolution.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 4:00 PM  

  • Even though I'm ideologically closer to the NDP than the Tories, if I HAD to pick which one I'd rather see in charge, I'd probably go with Harper.

    Jack would bring a team to Ottawa who have never been in government. I can only imagine some of the placeholder candidates they'll elect from Quebec.

    By Anonymous Long Time Liberal, at 4:06 PM  

  • I'm also with sharonapple88 (and Party of One) on this. In my mind there's no question that some unpaid time off would be better than lay-offs, and so I've never really understood the reason that having to have to take a few Rae Days is still to this day considered comparable to being drawn and quartered.

    Having said that, I suppose the feeling of entitlement that at least some public sector unions have when dealing with a NDP government is inevitable given the conflict of interest situation created when the employer is so intertwined with and reliant on the employee.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 4:39 PM  

  • The thing that gets me about union "support" for the NDs is that while they can provide a lot of organization, they can't deliver the vote.

    Maybe its because the union movement in Canada follows the "business union" model, rather than the "social union" one more common in Europe.

    There are very few resouces allocated by unions to educating their workers on union principles and practices, or outreach to non-union workers (which Cdn. unions seem to see as competitors, rather than possible allies).

    If THAT work was done by unions, it would be more likely that they COULD deliver the labour vote. As it is, the NDs would probably be better to do that work themselves on an ongoing basis. And then they wouldn't have the "debt" that some unions feel is due them.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 5:17 PM  

  • "Jack would bring a team to Ottawa who have never been in government."

    And, that's necessarily a BAD thing? Government may be directed by parliament and the PCO, but the heavy lifting is done by the civil service, especially the higher level assistant deputy ministers and deputy ministers. The success of any government of any ideology is found in its ability to work with the civil service. Ideally, the civil service is ideologically neutral.

    Lots of people were never in government before they were in power, and they often brought much needed fresh perspectives to the process. Electing "tried and true" politicians merely guarantees we get more of the same that we're currntly so disenchanted by...

    By Blogger Party of One, at 5:25 PM  

  • With orange coloured glasses...
    ...one man can run an entire government.

    Calgary Grit, I think you mean, "With BLUE coloured glasses" ;)

    By Blogger OneArrow, at 6:14 PM  

  • I don't get the beef with accepting a Quebec sovereignty vote.

    No one has a problem getting elected and running the country as a majority with 38 percent plus one.

    What's wrong with a majority of Quebec voters seceding with 50 percent plus one?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 PM  

  • "Can we honestly say that Rae was any worse than Harris?"

    Yes.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 6:52 PM  

  • You judge a government on how they left office and in 2002 when Harris left office he left Ontario in much better shape then it was in 1995.

    Only they didn't leave office in 2002, only Harris did. The Ontario Tories left office in 2003, and while Ontario was in much better shape so was the rest of Canada.

    They did however leave with some dodgy arithmetic in their last budgets, which the Liberals even called them on during the election campaign. It's always surprised me that Flaherty has never worn the responsibility for that and still continues to appeal to his time as Ontario finance minister to bolster his credibility.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 7:30 PM  

  • anon 6:42:

    ...subject to the conditions laid out in the Clarity Act and by the Supreme Court of Canada.

    He opposed the Clarity Act when that was convenient. Then he supported it when that was convenient. So what's he playing at now?

    Paul Wells: @emilienovaczek Jack is like cowbell. The only cure is more Jack.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W1lll5Z3Q8

    By Anonymous mikey, at 7:35 PM  

  • "No clarity in Layton's stance on Quebec referendum"
    By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press – 53 minutes ago

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jzFX96bd5x2DCcqUlgQVKSeZxtOA?docId=6674488

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:54 PM  

  • He opposed the Clarity Act when that was convenient. Then he supported it when that was convenient. So what's he playing at now?

    Votes. It's funny. Brian Mulroney cozied up to Quebec nationalists to get seats for the Consevatives in 1984. The NDP's playing the same game with their stand on the Clarity Act, Bill 101, and the Constitution. Good luck with that.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:55 PM  

  • I still wonder why the hell the NDP have a separatist candidate -- Alexandre Boulerice.

    (I was going to ask about this at the townhall, but it was packed and I was told that the people who came at four were allowed to ask questions.)

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 9:00 PM  

  • A separatist? I'm more impressed that the NDP are running a bowl-o-rice.

    (Which, incidentally, would win in Calgary West if it ran under the blue banner).

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 9:21 PM  

  • (Which, incidentally, would win in Calgary West if it ran under the blue banner).

    Hey, if they can get Rob "Nelson Mandela is a terrorist" Anders elected.... Seriously, in the heartland of Alberta, you'd think there'd have their pick of candidates.... or at least someone better than Anders.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 9:43 PM  

  • The answer is simple.
    The Liberals need to bring out Bob Rae to warn and remind Canadians what a NDP government would bring to the country.

    By Blogger Rotterdam, at 9:53 PM  

  • The NDP have run other provinces than Ontario and even governed well. Roy Romanow was a very good premier in Saskatchewan. The Lorne Calvert NDP government even cut corporate taxes! The NDP platform is very unrealistic but it would get pruned while in government, especially in a minority situation or a coalition. The Liberals should stop hyperventilating because they just might have to work with the NDP to govern the country.

    Do something grand together, like Proportional Representation or other electoral reforms. Actually tackle climate change. Build a national high speed rail network, something, anything, get an idea that is bigger than handing out more cheques. Screw cap and trade and do a much more sensible Carbon Tax but keep the tax revenues in the regions. Make sure you don't create NEP part deux.

    While I'd be more of a Green/Liberal I voted NDP this time in an advance poll because I just can't stand the bullshit that politics has become with the two main parties. I think the average Canadian's tolerance of fears and smears has hit a limit. I personally am sick and tired of all the lies. Harper is the worst I've seen in Canada.

    This my sense of the NDP surge.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:07 PM  

  • "Can we honestly say that Rae was any worse than Harris?"

    Hell yes - and anybody who says otherwise is willfully blind.

    Mike Harris presided over 6 years of rapid growth, significant declines in unemployment, an unprecedented decline in crime rates, a massive shrinkage of the welfare rolls, and the elimination of the Rae deficit (it returned under Eves, but even then you are talking about a far smaller deficit as a percentage of GDP), cut taxes, and increased real spending on education and healthcare (Harris only cut education spending in 1995 and 1996, increasing it in subsequent year, and Ontario student performance on the PISA suggests that the quality of education did not drop during his tenure in office).

    Indeed, most Liberals implicitly agree that Harris was a great premier when they brag about Chretien's record. Somehow Mike Harris, governing a third of Canada (and, apart from Alberta, the fastest growing third), was the worst premier ever, while Chretien was the best. Somehow Chretien was a dynamo for cutting the deficit (and transfers to the provinces), while Harris was a heartless villain for cutting spending. In other words, this is high-wire cognitive dissonance at work (the reality is that both Chretien and Harris were excellent leaders).

    Rae, in contrast, was a terrible premier. Yes, he was saddled with a recession, while Harris governed during boom times. But the real measure of a premier is how he fares against the challenges placed before him.

    You name a metric, and Bob Rae's Ontario fared worse than most of the other provinces and worse than the US. Unemployment reached double-digits, growth was negative followed by a slow recovery, and the deficit skyrocketed. Rae tried to spend Ontario out of a deficit, but he focused on spending items that made the problem worse. Under his watch, Ontario's welfare payoffs reached way above the national average (Harris was labeled "heartless" for cutting welfare payouts to the national average). Guess what happened? Transitional unemployment became habitual unemployment.

    Bob Rae is/was a smart man with the best intentions. Mike Harris is/was a dull man who was kind of a prick. But it isn't intentions, and it isn't brains that make for good government - its good sense. I have no evidence that Jack Layton has such faculties, although that could be because he has never run anything in his life.

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 12:01 AM  

  • The second majority... but there was a loss of seats -- 23 in the second election

    Sort of. Remember that Harris drastically cut the number of seats in the Ontario legislature during his first term. His party dropped from 82 seats to 59, but that really only meant a decrease from 63% to 57% of the total.

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 3:02 AM  

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